This post is the fourth in a series on windshield history, technology, and mobile windshield replacement. If you haven’t read parts 1-3 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.
How do we make sure our windshield can handle what we need it to? (continued)
Given how much we ask of our windshields, you might be wondering how we can make sure they’re up to the task. Well, the good news is that modern automotive manufacturers have spent decades and millions of dollars figuring out how to make their cars’ windshields as strong and safe as possible. So, problem solved, right? Not quite.
No matter how tough a windshield is, life happens, and eventually it’s going to get damaged. Once it’s damaged, we can no longer trust it to live up to the high standards we need it to, so it has to be replaced.
When we replace the windshield, it’s critical that the job we do lives up to the same high standards the manufacturer used in the original installation. Most of the time, this procedure is automated and done by robots, so that’s a pretty high standard of precision to live up to. Unfortunately, many mobile windshield replacement companies out there aren’t living up to that standard, either due to the fact that they’re using substandard windshields, substandard adhesives, or substandard methods and practices.
At Chapman Auto Glass, we only use the highest quality replacement auto glass – the same OEM manufacturers used in car factories. We also only use top-notch Dow chemical adhesives, which cost about two to three times more than the aftermarket adhesives used by cut-rate shops. Lastly, we use the most up to date industry standard techniques set forth by the Auto Glass Safety Council.
When it comes to mobile windshield replacement, don’t pinch pennies with your family’s safety. Call Chapman Auto Glass and get the job done right!
This post is the third in a series on windshield history, technology, and mobile windshield replacement. If you haven’t read parts 1 and 2 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.
Modern windshields and windshield replacement (continued)
Let’s take a look at some of the things modern windshields do:
- Block road debris – since modern windshield glass is so tough, it offers us protection against a wide range of things we might hit while driving. Generally the only thing we have to worry about getting through a modern windshield is severe penetrating damage.
- Allow the airbags to work – This is one of the most critical functions of a windshield that many people don’t even know about. Airbags work by providing a cushion of air to push against the passenger and decelerate their motion, decreasing the chance of impact trauma against the inside of the car and keeping them better coupled to the car. To do this, they need something to push against – for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. In the case of many modern cars, the windshield provides the backstop for the airbag to push against. If the windshield doesn’t stay attached to the car throughout the wreck, the airbag can’t do its job.
- Hold the roof up in a rollover – Modern windshields are tough. Many modern vehicle designs rely on this fact to reinforce the structural integrity of their designs. If the car rolls onto its roof, the windshield is a critical part of making sure the roof doesn’t cave in and crush the occupants.
So, how do we make sure our windshield can handle what we need it to?
Check back soon for Windshield is a Misleading Name – More on Mobile Windshield Replacement Done Right – Part 4. In the meantime, check out our page on mobile windshield replacement.
This post is the second in a series on windshield history, technology, and mobile windshield replacement. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.
The quest for a safer windshield (continued)
Later, when Benedictus got out a beaker for his next experiment, he dropped it. The beaker shattered, but all of the pieces of glass stuck together, held in place by the dried cellulose nitrate. Benedictus realized what had happened, and laminated glass was born.
In 1917, Henry Ford was in search of a better way to make windshields. There had been numerous reports of crash injuries and at least one lawsuit related to the plate glass windshields that Ford had been installing in their cars. When he heard about Benedictus’ invention, it seemed like a perfect fit. He used this laminated glass technique to build windshields composed of two panes of glass sandwiched around a core of cellulose. By 1919, all cars coming off of the Ford assembly line had laminated glass windshields.
Of course, windshield technology has come a long way since 1919. The 1930s saw the widespread inception of tempered glass, which breaks into much smaller pieces than non-tempered glass. These small pieces stay attached to the laminate much better than larger shards.
Modern windshields and windshield replacement
Modern windshields use Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) instead of cellulose to hold the laminated sheets together. PVB is clearer and much tougher than cellulose. The biggest difference between early windshields and modern ones; however, is the number of roles they perform. While early windshields did little more than keep the bugs out of your teeth, modern ones are a critical safety system in your car.
Check back soon for Windshield is a Misleading Name – More on Mobile Windshield Replacement Done Right – Part 3. In the meantime, check out our page on mobile windshield replacement.
Modern windshields do a lot more than block the wind
Early cars, or “horseless carriages” as they were called at the time, didn’t have windshields. Since their top speed was so low, it wasn’t really necessary. However, when the twentieth century rolled around and internal combustion cars started to get faster, more common, and more practical, people realized pretty quickly that they wanted protection from dirt, insects, and debris that the wind blew into their cars. This gave rise to the first windshields. In this series, we’ll discuss windshield history and technology, then we’ll take a look at mobile windshield replacement.
Early windshields were designed to shield from the wind, but not much beyond that. They were essentially the same as a plate glass window you would find in houses of the time. Most were actually designed to fold in half with the idea being when the windshield got too dirty to see through, you folded it down out of the way and looked over top of it. However, these early windshields had another big problem – safety. Since they were made of plate glass, even a minor accident could cause them to shatter into long, pointed shards that were very dangerous to drivers. Of course, this was also long before airbags or even seatbelts were included in cars, making the plate glass windshields even more dangerous since occupants could be thrown through them in a crash.
The quest for a safer windshield
Windshield technology got a big boost early in the twentieth century due largely to a laboratory accident by French chemist Edouard Benedictus. Benedictus had been doing some experiments with a compound called cellulose nitrate when his assistant accidentally put away some of his lab equipment while it was still dirty. While the beakers sat on their shelf, the cellulose nitrate hardened into a clear, plasticky coating on the inside of the glassware.
Check back soon for Windshield is a Misleading Name – More on Mobile Windshield Replacement Done Right – Part 2. In the meantime, check out our page on mobile windshield replacement.
This post is the tenth in a series on the basics of auto glass, auto glass repair, and mobile windshield replacement. If you haven’t read parts 1-9 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.
Ask about what certifications they hold and what standards they follow (continued)
At Chapman Auto Glass, we follow the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS) set forth by the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC). The AGSC is the non-profit organization responsible for setting standards for auto glass replacement is the US. These standards are covered under ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS 003-2015, which is available to the public on the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) website. It’s important to note that while this is a national standard for best practices, it’s voluntary, meaning auto glass replacement companies are under no obligation to follow it, and oftentimes less reputable companies don’t follow it either to save time or money.
At Chapman Auto Glass, every job we do is also covered by our lifetime warranty.
Standards for windshield repair
As the AGRSS covers standards for best practices in windshield replacement, likewise the ROLAGS (repair of laminated auto glass standard) covers situations where the windshield can be repaired rather than replaced. ROLAGS includes rules for what types of damage can be repaired versus when the windshield must be replaced, and also how windshields should be repaired.
High standards keep you safe
If the shop you’re considering for your auto glass repair or replacement doesn’t follow whichever standards are appropriate (AGRSS for replacement and ROLAGS for repair) then your windshield is not going to perform the way it was designed in the event of a crash. Your vehicles safety systems are no place to pinch pennies – make sure the shop you choose uses the right materials, the right techniques, and follows the right standards.
At Chapman Auto Glass, we use top-notch OEM parts, adhesives, and primers, our highly experienced technicians follow all the right standards, and every job we do is guaranteed. You won’t find better peace of mind than that in the mobile auto glass replacement and and auto glass repair industry. Learn more about how we do mobile windshield replacement here.
This post is the ninth in a series on the basics of auto glass, auto glass repair, and mobile windshield replacement. If you haven’t read parts 1-8 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.
What is the Safe Drive Away Time (SDAT) or Minimum Drive Away Time (MDAT)? (continued)
MDAT is a term that is gaining ground in the industry, but both MDAT and SDAT mean essentially the same thing. If the company tells you that you can drive your vehicle immediately after the technician is finished, call another company. There’s no such thing as a windshield replacement that doesn’t have a SDAT, and anyone that says there is isn’t doing it right.
Ask about materials they use
The goal in a windshield replacement is to replicate original factory conditions as closely as possible. With this goal in mind, it’s important to use the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) replacement windshields, adhesives, and primers. Aftermarket alternatives are often cheaper, but they aren’t subjected to the rigorous engineering and testing standards that OEM parts are. This is true of replacement parts everywhere in your car, but it’s particularly important for windshields since they are so critical to crash safety. Chapman Auto Glass uses Essex Betaseal Advance Cure Auto Glass Adhesive. This adhesive costs 2-3 times as much as standard urethane, but does a much better job of replicating the factory windshield attachment. Other companies may use a cheaper adhesive to cut costs and give you a lower priced quote, but it will not stand up to the same standards.
Ask about what certifications they hold and what standards they follow
There is no cohesive licensing body for auto class replacers, so it’s up to the individual business to make sure their work meets the right standards and is up to snuff.
Check back soon for Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 10! In the meantime, check out our page on mobile windshield replacement.